Pain months after filling

Jul 27, 2021
Hi there,

I had a composite filling three months ago (lower molar) to replace a shallow filling that had cracked. I had never experienced any pain or sensitivity in the tooth prior to the filling, but after the filling I have suffered considerable discomfort when applying pressure to the tooth. For instance, chewing on solids (eg nuts, cracker, chewy bread) triggers nerve pain in the centre of the tooth. I can recreate this experience by applying pressure to the centre of the tooth with my finger nail. I have no pain or sensitivity to hot or cold. It has been three months since the procedure.

I have had the bite checked and there are no issues there.

My questions are:
1) what are the possible issues I am experiencing?
2) the only unusual process that took place during my filling was that my dentist forgot she had double-booked, and left me with the bond on my tooth and blue light on for about 5 minutes while she saw another patient, which is much longer than usual. Could this result in the bond not adhering properly to the tooth?

Thank you for your help!

Dr M

Verified Dentist
May 31, 2019
Good day

It is not the norm to leave the curing light on a tooth for 5 minutes. There is such a thing as over-curing. A curing light consists out of ultra violet light of various intensities. There is some evidence to show that prolonged constant exposure to a curing light with a high intensity, might lead to pulpitis or even nerve necrosis.
It is also possible that while you were waiting for the dentist, moisture contamination could have occurred, leading to insufficient bond to the tooth structure, causing sensitivity.
Composite fillings also undergo polymerization shrinkage over time, leading to post-op sensitivity.
My advice would be to either have the filling replaced with a new composite filling, or to have a zinc oxide eugenol temporary filling placed, that has sedative properties, in order to monitor the symptoms on the tooth first. It can then be determined if there is any nerve damage or not, and if there is, it can be handled appropriately.


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